After producing two genetically cloned identical long-tailed macaques, a group of researchers in China have taken cloning to another level. On January 24, Chinese scientists announced that they had cloned five monkeys from a single animal that was genetically engineered to have a sleep disorder. The same technique that gave us Dolly the sheep, world’s first cloned mammal in the late 90s, was used to create these five little nonhuman primates. The scientists further said that it could aid research into human psychological problems. The video of the newly-born five insomniac infant macaques has surfaced on the internet, and amidst the controversies related to the experiment, people just cannot get enough of it. They are highly cute. Is Cloning of Humans Possible? Monkeys ‘Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua’ Becomes First Non-Human Primates to be Cloned.
The five infant macaques were born at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai. All of them share the same genes, reportedly derived from a fibroblast taken from the skin of a donor monkey.
Watch Video of 5 Cloned ‘Insomniac’ Monkeys
According to the study published in the National Science Review, the scientists knocked out the BMAL1 (Brain and Muscle ARNT-Like 1) gene on several monkeys, which then showed symptoms related to a circulation disorder. The signs include reduced sleep time, elevated movement at night, dampened circadian cycling of blood hormones, increased anxiety and depression as well as schizophrenia-like behaviours. Biggest Science Inventions and Discoveries of 2018.
The circadian disorder could lead to many human illnesses such as diabetic mellitus, cancer and neurodegenerative disease. The cloned monkeys will be used to study the manner of the development of the disease as well as therapeutic treatments.